mba venture challenge | Mays Impacts | Mays Business School

On a muggy, February morning the Memorial Student Center was bustling with business and community leaders serving as judges for the 2020 MBA Venture Challenge. February 17, 2020, marked the 19th year of the competition, at which 12 teams of Full-Time MBA students competed for $5,000 and bragging rights as the winners of the 2020 MBA Venture Challenge.

In preparation for the annual competition, each team is tasked with developing a financial and competitive analysis of current and future market and growth strategies for real-world companies. The Full-Time MBA students only have 3 weeks to complete their analysis and the companies are not required to provide any documents or information to the students. Most companies will hand over financials, business plans, and private information. However, many ask that the students form their own conclusions independent of how the company is currently operating.

Before teams could present their analyses, they first had to deliver an elevator pitch that would hopefully convince the judges that their presentation was worth watching. Each team was allotted a hard 2-minute time limit on their pitch. No slides, videos, or other technology was allowed during the Elevator Pitch round. After watching all 12 pitches, the judges self-selected which judging group they wanted to join. In total, the day-long competition includes over three rounds of judging by an audience of experienced judges from McFerrin Center’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round required the teams to present a concise yet in-depth analysis of the start-up and provide meaningful recommendations for future company success. By the Final round of judging the number of competing only 6 teams were left with a chance to win cash prizes.

“Our 19th annual MBA Venture Challenge established new records in the number of companies applying to participate and the number of volunteers judging the competition,” said Blake Petty, director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. “The Challenge has clearly set the standard for high-intensity and high-impact interactions between student teams and startup ventures, and the analysis provided by these outstanding MBA students has proven to be immediately and immensely impactful to the participating companies.”

In the end, team Kappa 6 who carried out an analysis of Moto Cinch, LLC earned first place at the 2020 MBA Venture Challenge. Company applications for the 2021 MBA Venture Challenge will begin circulating in November 2020. Individuals interested in judging at future MBA Venture Challenges are encouraged to join the McFerrin Center Mentor Network.

2020 MBA Venture Challenge Winners

1st Place: Chris Compton, Madhur Gupta, Madi Heck, Nick Iconos, Guiselle Parker, Moto Cinch, LLC

2nd Place: Ahmed Ellahi, Brian Ellis, Wade Emmons, Saif Gul, Peter Wang, Mach1 Services

3rd Place: Benjamin Adams, Luis Bodero-Bullon, Chris Brown, Supriya Dara, Shique Singleton, ScriptlyRx

1st Place Elevator Pitch: Sophie Curie, Jiashan Lang, Ryan Pugh, Tyler Miller, Christopher Nettles, Bondwell Technologies

Categories: Uncategorized

The Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University was bustling on Feb. 18 with business and community leaders serving as judges for the 2019 MBA Venture Challenge. Fourteen teams of Full-Time MBA students eagerly awaited their time to shine in front of the judging panels with the hope that they would take home 1st place at this year’s competition.

The MBA Venture Challenge is an annual competition held in partnership between the Mays MBA Program and the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. The 2019 MBA Venture Challenge wrapped up its 18th year with three winning teams going home with a total of $10,000.

The winning teams – announced at a networking and awards reception immediately after the Venture Challenge – are:

  • First Place: Hasan Ahmed, Ahad Azimuddin, Hang Quan, Shelley Ruohonen, Jordan Williams; Medicinbox LLC
    • $5,000 sponsored by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Second Place: Mark Dearden, Ahmed Ibrahim, Korbin King, Michael Reasor; VoCo
    • $3,000 sponsored by the Aggie Angel Network
  • Third Place: John Buancore, Cole Dietz, Clyde Fomunung, Chris Raman, Koki Tobita; Krueger Labs, Inc.
    • $2,000 sponsored by Fibertown
  • Elevator Pitch: Mark Dearden, Ahmed Ibrahim, Korbin King, Michael Reasor; VoCo
    • $500 sponsored by Mays Business School

…Read more

Categories: Entrepreneurship, Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Students, Texas A&M

By Jessie Minks ’16

On the morning of Feb. 17, the Cocanougher Center was filled with an audience of business and community leaders serving as judges, anxiously waiting to learn the mission and goal of 16 start-up companies that teamed up with the first-year students from the class of 2017’s Full-Time MBA program. Held in partnership between the Mays MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the 2017 MBA Venture Challenge wrapped up its 15th year with three winning teams going home with a total of $10,000.

The day kicked off with the first round: the elevator pitch competition. Pitches ranged from a simplified physical fitness booking app and streamlined water purifying approaches to emerging drone security system technology. Elevator pitch winners Eric Jensen, Matt Larsen, Zain Hanif and Ellen Schott took home $500 after impressing the judge and company representative audience with their interest-sparking and comical pitch for InfinitySoft, a scalable data analytics platform provider for the oil and gas industry.

This year’s MBA Venture Challenge contained 68 first-year MBA students tasked with assisting applicant companies with business advice and financial/competitive analysis on current and future market and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between teams, for both sponsored cash awards and significant bragging rights. Additionally, the competition provides networking opportunities as well as high-value insights for participating firms.

The Venture Challenge asks the MBA student teams to provide a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of their selected firm’s market and financial viability. The start-up firms are invited to apply from throughout the Aggie Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, and the MBA teams selected their favorite firm, based solely on a short summary provided by the applicants. The program operates through partnerships and sponsorship from the Aggie Angel Network, JB Knowledge and the Texas A&M University Division of Research. The original 26 business applicants came from a wide variety of industries, including human tissue engineering and ecommerce, adventure media and consumer products.

While the MBA teams were allotted only two weeks of direct contact with their assigned company representatives, they were provided feedback and direction from industry and university mentors, including the MBA program faculty and volunteer entrepreneurs. Full-Time MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains “the MBA Venture Challenge encourages our students to integrate what they have learned across the business disciplines” and allows each team to “demonstrate the ability to navigate ambiguity and intellectual curiosity – two critical skills our employers seek in our students.”

The MBA Venture Challenge consisted of a full-day competition over three rounds of judging by an audience of experienced judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round required the teams to present a concise yet in-depth analysis of the start-up and provide meaningful recommendations for future company success.

“Now in its 15th year, the MBA Venture Challenge has clearly set the standard for high-intensity and high-impact interaction between student teams and startup ventures,” said Blake Petty, director of the CNVE. “The analysis provided by these outstanding MBAs has proven to be immediately invaluable to the participating companies, and there is simply no better way to expose our students to the real-life challenges of entrepreneurship than to immerse them into a startup…even if only for two weeks.”

For those companies or judges interested in participating in the 2018 MBA Venture Challenge, be on the lookout for application information to begin circulating in November 2017.

The winning MBA teams were announced Feb. 17 at a networking and awards reception immediately after the Venture Challenge:

$5,000 – First Place (sponsored by the Texas A&M Division of Research) – Brent Carter, Nick Cheng, Philip Spencer, Jana Soares; CelaCare

$3,000 – Second Place (sponsored by the Aggie Angel Network) – Mario Coll, Thomas Dowlearn, Eclair Lehmongkol, Ankur Soni; IntuiTap Medical

$2,000 – Third Place (sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Meagan Altman, James Cochran, Lia Rojas Unamo, Rahul Sharma; FireDisc

Learn more about the results of previous MBA Venture Challenge competitions.

 

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, MBA, News, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

First-year MBA student Alycia Crandall stood outside the back doors of the Cocanougher Center with her unofficial fifth teammate in the MBA Venture Challenge: a full-grown horse. Her mission: to deliver a compelling elevator pitch convincing each of the 75 judges in attendance to come listen to her team’s analysis of RevaTis, a new veterinary medicine research company commercializing stem cell services for thoroughbred horses.

MBA Venture horse

The elevator pitch competition was the first round of the MBA Venture Challenge, a seven-day experiential competition held annually in collaboration between the MBA Program and the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), both at Mays Business School.

In this year’s challenge, 63 first-year MBA students formed into 15 teams and selected from a pool of 25 early-stage companies seeking advice and analysis on their market opportunity and growth strategies. Each year the MBA Venture Challenge creates high-stakes competition between the teams, for both sponsored cash awards and course credit, as well as high-value effort and insights for the participating firms.

The MBA Venture Challenge asks the MBA student teams to provide a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of their selected firm’s market and financial viability. The CNVE sources these early-stage firms from its position in the Aggie and local entrepreneurial ecosystem, utilizing partners such as the Aggie Angel Network, A&M System Technology Commercialization, the Research Valley Innovation Center, Seed Sumo, Innovation Underground and the TEEX Product Development Center. These businesses come from a wide variety of industries, from internet media to medical devices; consumer technology to animal health.

The MBA teams are allowed only one week of direct contact with company representatives, but are provided feedback and guidance from industry and university mentors, including the MBA Program Faculty. MBA Program Director Shannon Deer explains: “Venture Challenge is so beneficial to both our students and to the companies participating. The MBA Program has completely integrated the Challenge into our students’ course work, evaluating their analysis and recommendations for course credit.”

After seven days (and long nights) of preparation, evaluation and analysis, the MBA Venture Challenge culminates in a full-day competition that starts with an elevator pitch round, two full rounds of preliminary presentations, then a finals round of presentations from the top six teams. Throughout the presentation rounds, teams are scored by an audience of invited judges from CNVE’s network of business, academic and entrepreneurial community leaders. Each round requires the teams to present a concise but in-depth analysis of the venture and provide meaningful recommendations to the venture’s leadership on how to best address their shortcomings.

CNVE Director Blake Petty describes the MBA Venture Challenge as a unique and valuable experience for all participants – students, ventures and judges. “It has always been aimed at offering the MBA students an impactful experience introducing many of them to the unique aspects of leading and launching a new business,” he said. “As a meaningful – and powerful – side effect, the participating companies and judges receive valuable insights, critique, analysis and recommendations toward pivots and improvements their new ventures can make to enhance their likelihood of success.”

The winning MBA teams were announced at a networking and awards reception immediately following the Challenge on Feb. 19:

  • First Place ($5,000, sponsored by Aggie Angel Network) – James Hammond, Tien Le, Brian Newbury and Jordan Nielson (Block Party Suites)
  • Second Place ($3,000, sponsored by Research Valley Innovation Center) – Jonathan Macrae, Eva Martinez-Salinas, John Dexter and Saurabh Kulkarni (ADVENTURE GURU)
  • Third Place ($2,000, sponsored by JBKnowledge) – Jason Morgan, Lillian Niakan, Raj Sridharan and Sneha Das (Scepter Medical Devices)

Categories: Centers, Mays Business, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

MBA Venture Challenge 2015

Online-shopping team ropers, buckets of water and a burst of light greeted more than 100 judges, faculty and staff gathered in the Wehner Building for the 13th annual MBA Venture Challenge.

The buckets illustrated a hydro-electric power generating device and the light represented a bioenergy. The challenge, hosted by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), highlights the business aptitudes Texas A&M University’s Full-Time MBA program strives to teach: strategic thinking, diligent research, effective communication skills and professional networking.

In the week-long competition, 12 MBA teams analyze early-stage startup firms by providing a clear, unbiased and business-oriented evaluation of the businesses’ market and financial viability. This year’s companies were chosen from a pool of more than 20. They came from a variety of industries including life sciences, IT, retail, oil and gas, gaming and child safety.

The efforts of the MBA students culminated in an all-day event one week after they first met with their companies. Competition day is full of presentations, starting with two-minute elevator pitches. Next the 12 teams presented in four judging rooms, where they were given 15 minutes for their presentations and Q&A. Each judging panel selected one finalist to proceed to the afternoon finals presentations, and the remaining two teams moved to Round 2. Of the eight teams in Round 2, two additional teams moved on to finals.

The MBA teams are judged on their identification of their company’s issues, primary market opportunities, financial projections and the conclusions they drew from their research. Their research quality was also considered.

The judges – who are volunteers from the community – include investors, financiers, entrepreneurs and academics.

Taking first place in the competition were Prithviraj Chougule, Ali Arif, Zachary Friske, Daniel Gaona, and Lolina Pena, with “Ebio, LLC.” Their prize was sponsored by AT&T.

The second-place winners were Pei Lin Mei, Luis Matus, Mark McCord, Brad Myers, and Rachael McPhail, with “Ropesforless.com.” Their prize was sponsored by BB&T.

The third-place winners were Clayton Watson, Shanaly Daya, Spencer Dearinger, Ashwini Kalia, and Virgina Koran, with “SynShark, LLC.” Their prize was sponsored by JBKnowledge.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Programs

MBA Venture Challenge
MBA Venture Challenge

In the 2014 MBA Venture Challenge, more than 100 business and academic leaders from around the Brazos Valley judged companies created by the MBA students at Texas A&M University. The judges ranked early-stage startup companies and provided valuable feedback.

Taking first place in the competition were Janette Barnard, Matt Johnson, Lloyd McGuire and Robyn Peters, with “MyHeroClassifieds.com.” Their prize was sponsored by AT&T.

The second-place winners were Joseph Cole, Ben Feldman, Aiden Johnson, Ankit Talwar, Sabrina Wade with “Loco Inc.” Their prize was sponsored by Aggie Angel Network.

The third-place winners were Benjamin Holler, Shaune Kolber, Eric Piskura, Eric Snowder and Rachel Turner, with “Scepter Medical Devices.” Their prize was sponsored by JBKnowledge.

New to the competition this year was an Elevator Pitch Round.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Featured Stories, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

The 10th annual MBA Venture Challenge, hosted by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), highlights the business aptitudes Texas A&M University’s Full-Time MBA program strives to teach—strategic thinking, diligent research, effective communication skills and professional networking.

Each year since 2003, teams of first-year MBA students have participated in the Venture Challenge. The teams are assigned an early-stage venture (often originating from Texas A&M research labs), and are asked to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise.

CNVE director Richard Lester (top right) and the first place team at this year's MBA Venture Challenge
CNVE director Richard Lester (top right) and the first place team at this year’s MBA Venture Challenge (view more photos)

Richard Lester, executive director of Mays’ CNVE, calls the MBA Venture Challenge “a significant immersion for our students in experiential education. They investigate actual early-stage companies that are balancing the demands of new marketplaces in addition to financing and technological challenges.”

In order to do well in the competition, the MBA teams must objectively and meticulously evaluate each venture based on its viability in the competitive business arena. According to the CNVE website, “the Venture Challenge is a great way to showcase our students and diverse research portfolio to the business and investment community.”

Each team presents a two-minute elevator pitch based on its analysis of the venture to a panel of judges from the business and academic community. After the initial elevator pitches, the top six teams are chosen to present 15-minute “venture pitches” to a room full of judges, business representatives and peers. This year, the finalists’ ventures ranged from a respiratory drug to treat cystic fibrosis to an online travel-booking enterprise.

“The event brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Mays Business School, such as venture capitalists, bankers, technologists and many others,” says Lester. These qualified judges pepper the students with questions, revealing the MBA teams’ expertise (or lack thereof) in their researched venture.

Lester says the Venture Challenge is an integral part of full-time MBA students’ experience at Mays, claiming the competition provides a “rich educational experience for the students and a significant networking opportunity for our college and our attendees.”

This year’s winners were:

  • First Place ($3,000): Jenna Beyer, Emil Boehm, Matt Buzby, Joel Cunninghman, D.J. McCarty and Joseph Pluhar; Incellerate
  • Second Place ($2,000): Luke Baker, Mark Herman, Craig Hooker, James Kelly, Jr. and Scott Monk; The Patria Group Corp.
  • Third Place ($1,000): Jemison Bartlett, Justin Gibbs, Sarah Hassan, Amey Karnik and Nicholas Vernon; Savara Inc.

Categories: Programs, Students

2022 RANKINGS HIGHLIGHT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL’S MBA EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS

COLLEGE STATION, TX, March 30, 2021 – Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) program has been named a top 20 U.S. Public program, according to the 2022 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. Offered through Mays Business School, the FTMBA program ranks as the #16 public program in the U.S. and #38 overall, an improvement of four and six spots, respectively. The FTMBA also ranked #4 among U.S. Public programs in terms of the employment rate three months after graduation, a testament to the quality of the Aggie Network. The School’s Professional MBA (PMBA) program – offered from the Houston CityCentre campus – was also ranked with positions of #23 for public programs in the U.S. and #39 overall.

Detailed descriptions of the methodology used to determine the rankings are available at U.S. News and World Report’s site. The methodology includes criteria such as peer school assessment score (25%), mean GMAT and GRE scores (16.25%), recruiter assessment score (15%), mean starting salary and bonus (14%), employment rate three months after graduation (14%), and other factors.

“The entire MBA Programs office is geared toward preparing our students for success,” shared Arvind Mahajan, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Programs for Mays Business School. “From full-circle leadership development to high-impact opportunities in our MBA Venture Challenge, to students hosting and running the Humana-Mays Healthcare Data Analytics Case Competition – faculty, staff, and administration lead the way to develop students who will advance the world’s prosperity, our vision at Mays Business School. Students receiving benefit and returning the favor to the Aggie Network makes it worth the intensive effort.”

“Please allow me to express very sincere congratulations to students, faculty, staff, and the entire Mays leadership team regarding these prestigious outcomes for our MBA programs,” shared Duane Ireland, Ph.D., Acting Dean for Mays Business School. “These rankings demonstrate that Mays Business School is achieving success with efforts to achieve its mission of being a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders.”

Applications for Texas A&M’s MBA programs are being accepted now for the class of 2023. For more information, visit: mba.tamu.edu

By Blake Parrish, Mays Business School Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

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About Mays Business School

At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research.

 

Media contact: Blake Parrish, Mays Business School Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations, bparrish@mays.tamu.edu.

Categories: Uncategorized

Two Mays Business School MBA graduates, Thomas Dowlearn and Willie Dennis, were included in Poets & Quants’ 2018 list of “MBAs To Watch.” The criteria for inclusion on the list MBAs who possess unique backgrounds, innate talent, and long-term goals that make them transformational leaders to watch in the coming years.


Thomas Dowlearn

Dowlearn is working toward an MBA while pursuing an MD. The co-op is designed to prepare students to tackle the managerial, financial, and leadership aspects of the medical field.

He said he chose Mays Business School because of how welcomed he felt throughout the admissions process. He felt he was surrounded by a group of people who believed in him, and he sensed the deep sense of pride that people associated with Texas A&M tend to have. The advice he would give to students looking to pursue an MBA is asking yourself “why” every day because it will help you discover yourself and find purpose in your decisions.

Since being at Mays, Dowlearn competed in and placed second at the Venture Challenge as well as earning the Best Presenter Award in 2017.

Willie Dennis
Dennis earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s in business management at the University of Texas at Arlington. He worked for Exxon Mobil as a revenue accountant and then Multiview Inc. as a financial reporting associate. When deciding which MBA program to pursue, Dennis said was intrigued with the worldwide recognition of Mays Business School. What sealed the deal was that Mays has one of the best ROI’s of a top-ranked business program.

His advice for students looking to get their MBAs: Be yourself and be able to tell your story in a unique way. Be able to understand what you want to accomplish by going to business school, particularly Mays, and be able to deliver that message to the admissions committee as well.

While at Mays, the faculty and staff nominated Dennis to be recognized as one of the “Best and Brightest” business school students in Texas, which led to him being honored as a Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholar in 2017.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

By Dorian Martin ’06, The Texas A&M Foundation

The entrepreneurial spirit of longtime Texas A&M University benefactor Arthur “Artie” McFerrin Jr. will continue to inspire future generations of Aggies through the renaming of Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) in his honor.

McFerrin, who passed away Aug. 8 after a long battle with leukemia, consistently supported Texas A&M’s academic and athletic programs with major gifts. The 1965 graduate of Texas A&M University is the namesake of the McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, the McFerrin Athletic Center (the indoor football complex and track stadium) and the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center.

“Widely known as one of the most generous, humble and understated leaders in business, Artie gave more in his life than he ever took,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “He set a standard few others will ever achieve as a man of character and conviction focused on the future. It is fitting that the newly renamed McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship will bear the name of someone so focused on giving others opportunities.”

The CNVE’s renaming was made possible through a $10 million gift from McFerrin and his wife, Dorothy. These funds will advance the center’s work as an international leader in entrepreneurial education. “We are truly grateful to the McFerrin family,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “Artie’s spirit lives on through the thousands of lives he has influenced and will continue to influence. His heart for Texas A&M and entrepreneurship beats in the hearts of those Aggies who choose to be courageous enough to create solutions to the world’s biggest problems—those who are indeed fearless.”

Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65

Funds will further help the center more effectively prepare aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in a turbulent global economy. “Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art center that equips young people for starting and growing their ventures,” said Richard Lester, the center’s executive director. “With this support, we can expand our reach and impact while linking existing programs for a cohesive experience. More than grooming specific skills, we hope to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: to believe they can achieve and not give up when the going gets tough.”

…Read more

Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Donors Corner, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M